Taipei, Oct. 15 (CNA) Culture Minister Lee Yung-te (李永得) said the government would continue its efforts to secure reparations for those persecuted during Taiwan’s authoritarian period, at a memorial service hosted by the National Human Rights Museum Saturday.
Lee said the ministry organized the annual memorial service to pay tribute to the victims of political persecution and to remind the public that freedom and democracy were hard-earned through the sacrifice of such individuals.
Lee added that the government would continue to promote transitional justice, preserve historical archives and sites, and provide reparations to the victims and their families.
In a speech at the event, Tsai Kuan-yu (蔡寬裕), the founder of the Taiwan Association for the Care of the Victims of Political Persecution during the Martial Law Period, sought to highlight the sacrifice of political activists unjustly imprisoned or executed by the Kuomintang (KMT) government during the White Terror era between 1949 and 1992.
Tsai said that had it not been for such individuals, people in Taiwan would not have the democratic rights they enjoy today.
Imprisoned for 13 years for his involvement in two uprisings in 1957 and 1962, the now 90-year-old Tsai said an enduring regret for him was failing to pass on the last words of his cellmate Gai Tian-yu (蓋天予) to Gai’s family in China.
According to Tsai, Gai was arrested on suspicion of colluding with the Chinese Communist Party government — a charge commonly used by then-KMT regime to control Taiwanese society.
The stories of the victims of political persecution should be passed down from generation to generation so that people would learn not to repeat the mistakes from this dark chapter in history, Tsai said.
Saturday’s memorial, which has been held around the Tomb Sweeping Day in April in previous years, was rescheduled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
(By Chiu Tsu-yin and Shih Hsiu-chuan)


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